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1st customer build. the gemini bass

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by jordan_frerichs, Sep 11, 2008.


  1. jordan_frerichs

    jordan_frerichs

    Jan 20, 2008
    Nebraska
    i have my first customer. we have the plan just about figured out. work will probaly start in the next week or 2. here are the unfinalized specs

    -4 string fretted
    -singlecut shape (still working out the exact shape)
    -one piece walnut neck through
    -hollowed walnut body core
    -on top wing: bloodwood top and back, maple accent
    -on bottom wing: maple top and back, bloodwood accent
    -fingerboard: maple bass side, bloodwood treble side, OR 1 piece some other wood
    -custom f-holes (right now, it sounds like he wants something like chinese letters or something. not sure)
    -chrome harware (maybe wooden knobs)
    - 34" scale
    - music man pickup in passive (seperate volumes for the 2 coils) with wooden cover, bass side maple, treble side bloodwood.

    you can probably see now, where the gemini name comes from. he says he wants a sound simalar to the bass in the music by Disturbed. more updates as they come. any comments, opinions, or whatever, greatly appreciated. thanx for the look
     
  2. steve21

    steve21 Banned

    Dude, a hollowed out body and f-holes won't equate to Disturbed sound.
     
  3. Yvarg

    Yvarg Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Irvine, CA
    I think with the right pickups (especially active ones, even though he said he's doing passive) you could get pretty close to almost any tone. Now I'm not exactly sure what the bassist from Disturbed sounds like (can't stand them), but I once made a hollowed out body from an old guitar with an 80's Dimarzio precision pickup in it and it had a pretty aggressive tone that would have been perfect for all sorts of hard rock, grunge, and the like.
     
  4. jordan_frerichs

    jordan_frerichs

    Jan 20, 2008
    Nebraska
    it would only be the wings hollow, really more chambered, with the f-hole area a little more hollowed. i am curently trying to find out where chambering here and there just to reduce wight, turns into something sound changing the center of the bass will remain soild, and i don't see how the hollow wings affect the sond that greatly, since the center is where all the action it, but i am a begginer, and would appreciate it if someone fills me in on this. right now i am looking for the best music man to help capture this sound. if i can't find any better, i will do a basslines smb 4-d ceramic core. those sound pretty growly and aggresive to me. this is the only mm pup i have ever tried, so if anone has another pup in mind that would fit the role, do tell. i said passive, because since the customer is a begginer passive is easier. if how much would it cost to have an active mm set-up, no preamp?
     
  5. the entire body resonates, effecting the sound....

    hit me up on MSN, i should be around most the day tommorow.
     
  6. jordan_frerichs

    jordan_frerichs

    Jan 20, 2008
    Nebraska
    what about this idea. drilling here and there and pounding some pine dowels or something into the holes, so itt is lighter, but solid?
     
  7. ugh, it just sounds bad to me lol........either chamber it, or go with a lighter body wood;.
     
  8. jordan_frerichs

    jordan_frerichs

    Jan 20, 2008
    Nebraska
    yea, but the wood can't look close to bloodwood or maple. black walnut struc me as the most avalible wood that was contrasting to both woods, plus it matches the neck. i think if i made the top and back thicker that usual on holloed/chambered projects, it would cause less r4esonance of the woods. what do you think the thickness of the top and back should be?
     
  9. ppk

    ppk

    May 16, 2007
    that answer will help the both of us. i need to know what to plane my top to. your build sounds interesting. i may do a customer build next year i have plenty of takers but i dont know if i could be sure if they would supply me with money.
    good luck man.
     
  10. jordan_frerichs

    jordan_frerichs

    Jan 20, 2008
    Nebraska
    i bet u have a custumer list! your designs are very original, and i have never seen any other basses with the same style. have them pay half now, half later. i am charging the custumer about $600-650, and roughly $400 of it would be on parts. $200 sounds chaep for the labor cost, but i am only a begginer, and i think it balances out with the gain of experience.:p
     
  11. jordan_frerichs

    jordan_frerichs

    Jan 20, 2008
    Nebraska
    oh and, it depends on the sound. if you want a hollow sound, i hear that 1/4 inch is about as thin as you want. i would think less depth equals less hollow body sound, but idk. also the size of the chambers, if the unseen parts will be chambered, has a part. the spacing between them will have amn affect, the size of them as well. a lot of people drill here and there a lot of times. on my personal hollow, i hollowed it all out, for the different sound. for this i think i will camber it carfully, and just make the hollowing more extensive wherethe f-holes go, to try and maintain the more solid sound, since the music he want5s to play requiers that.
     
  12. ppk

    ppk

    May 16, 2007
    Ha thanks. I do my best. i played it for marching band on friday and i got a really odd comment on it..." is that bass really old?" i said no... i made it. it caused a quite puzzled look on the ladys face. my friend wants a guitar but im not sure if i wanna do a guitar yet cause i feel i would be being dishonest to myself because i want to build basses for a living.


    yea i was thinkin that 1/4 inch would be about right. at first i thought that it would be too thick and not resonate but now come to think of it 1/4 inch is pretty darn thin. i have yet to draw out my chambering but im trying to take out as much as possible with out making it too delicate.
     
  13. jordan_frerichs

    jordan_frerichs

    Jan 20, 2008
    Nebraska
    yea, on my personal bass, i acidently routed too much to do a stomach contour, but i think thaat is the least improtant contour, as a bass is still completly comfortable witout one. on the gemini bass, i think i will make the walnut core at most 1" thick, leaving 3/4 inch to be divided into the top and back ,and holow out the top and back in the f-hole locations
     
  14. jordan_frerichs

    jordan_frerichs

    Jan 20, 2008
    Nebraska
    no real exiting updates here. he changed his mind and decided to make it a 5 string. this will be his first bass, so i am having a little frustration, as a lot of these specs are up to me, and i want to try and do it so hell like it, but i have no clue what that is, and now i have to worry about low b tension. i found a big piece of walnut for the one piece neck, and had to saw the thing by hand. i hope there is no internal problems to screw me up. we decided on a final shape, a modified version of my own custom design.
     
  15. Arx

    Arx

    Jan 22, 2008
    Don't worry about low B tension. All that stuff is pretty much bunk. If your scale length is reasonable, the tension will be fine.

    Physics says that with a given unit mass, string length and tension will vary proportionally. any 34 inch bass will have very nearly the same tension as any other 34 inch bass. Any 35 the same as any other 35.

    All the stuff you hear about tension is really more about feel. Make sure you don't set the B string up too low when you cut the nut and adjust the bridges. Too low and it'll get rattly if he plays too hard. A beginner's probably best with a medium action anyways. Maybe once his playing develops for a year or so you can see how he plays it and adjust accordingly. Someone who plays really light with finesse may prefer it very low. A player who really hammers on the strings, or plays hard with a pick, is going to need a much higher setup to keep the strings clear of the fretboard. Neck relief is along the same lines, a heavy player is probably best with a bit more relief, since this will allow a reasonably low clearance on the first frets (helping intonation, and making fretting easier), but will still give adequate clearance further down the board where the string moves more. Using a higher nut and bridge will have a similar effect, but will require more compensation at the bridge, and will require more finger pressure for fretting.
    Again, a very light player is the opposite, and will probably find a nearly straight board gives them a less sloppy feel, since they don't need to push the strings down as far to contact the frets.

    But to reiterate, B string "tension" is dictated by the gauge and scale length. "feel" is almost exclusively in the setup, so don't worry too much about the B string during the build.
     
  16. Yvarg

    Yvarg Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Irvine, CA
    Yeah, you can get a nice, tight B if you use a slightly larger gauge than what light bass string sets will often use. I read in Dan Erlewine's repair book that D'addario recommends a .145 string and most sets come with a .130 or .135 so you should be fine.
     
  17. jordan_frerichs

    jordan_frerichs

    Jan 20, 2008
    Nebraska
    i e-mailed him explaining that it is unusual for somone to have a custom bass built as thier very first, not to mention a 5 string. i toldhim the best approach would be to make it modifyable into a 5er if he finds out thats what he really wants. he has larger hands, so we can make the nut a little wider, add some extra inch room on the fingerboard, have the pups be 5 string bar magnets, and make it a 4, and modify it to his preference whehe figures that out.
     
  18. Gone

    Gone

    Mar 21, 2006
    Cape Town
    Jayda custom basses, builder
    Don't know if that's a good idea.
    IMO you're either building a 4 string or a 5 string. If you try and build one whiles making easily modifiable to the other you're going to compromise on it's design.

    Rather purpose build the bass as a 4 string or a 5 string.
     
  19. eleonn

    eleonn

    Aug 24, 2006
    Lima - PerĂº
    +1
     
  20. Arx

    Arx

    Jan 22, 2008
    While it would be possible to convert it, the tuners are going to end up sub-optimal if you add a string.

    If he wants a 5, build a 5. The extra string doesn't really hurt anything. The fact that most people don't buy a custom for their first bass shouldn't mean it needs to be any less custom.
     

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